Family, Love, A Wall Between. Berlin Divided.
With scars from one war, three brothers in East Berlin face another as the Berlin Wall divides their city – East from West. One an officer, another an artist and the third caught in the middle, these brothers experience the building of the wall, each from a personal perspective. As the brothers strive to find their way together, three generations of family ties, brotherhood, love, marriage and parenthood are tested. What is the price of liberty, and will the wall divide or unite this family?
It is timely, it is important and the opportunity is now! We are contemplating many of the same issues today in our country and throughout the world as Germany did more than 50 years ago when The Berlin Wall was built. Theater presents an intimate, entertaining and powerful way to tell a story that raises these timeless issues. And throughout history, we know the influence music, especially rock & roll, has had in making us think, making a statement and moving us toward action. A WALL APART, a rock musical featuring original music by Graham Russell of Air Supply and a dramatic book by Sam Goldstein and Craig Clyde does just that.
NYMF is the largest annual musical theater festival in America. Each summer the Festival presents productions, concerts, readings and special events in the heart of New York City’s Theater District.
MADDIE SHEA BALDWIN (Esther) Broadway: Bright Star (by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Tony nomination- Best Musical) Favorite regional credits include: Lesher Center for the Arts: Back Home Again; Kennedy Center: Bright Star; The Old Globe Theatre; Ace and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, North Coast Rep: Little Women. Proud Indiana University MT grad of 2015. Special thanks to the “A Wall Apart” team for including me on this journey, Nicolosi & Co, and my loving and supportive family. Jeremiah 29:11
LESLIE BECKER (Tante) Broadway/National Tours: Wicked, Amazing Grace, Bonnie & Clyde, Cinderella, Nine, Anything Goes, Beauty And The Beast, Show Boat. Regional: Starring roles in Ragtime, Billy Elliot, Sweeney Todd, Damn Yankees, The King And I and many more. Also a writer, her musical A Proper Place recently had its World Premiere production at The Village Theatre in Issaquah, WA. Her debut single “Slow Burn” recently hit #4 on the AC Billboard/Hot AC Chart. www.LeslieBecker.com Twitter/Instagram: @TheLeslieBecker
EMILY BEHNY (Suzanne) Indiana girl. Off Broadway: The Fantasticks (Luisa), National Tours: Wicked (Nessarose), Beauty and the Beast (Belle). Regional: North Carolina Theatre; Gateway; Goodspeed. Thanks to the creative team, family, dear friends, and Henderson Hogan Agency. Proud Ball State University grad. Follow me @ebehny and www.emilybehny.com.
JORDAN BONDURANT (Kurt) NYMF debut! Broadway: “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” (Tom Copley) and “Mamma Mia!” (Sky). Off-Broadway- “The Underclassman” (Trip). TV/Film: “Law and Order: SVU”, “Think Like a Man 2”. Recent regional credits include “Legally Blonde” and “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Sacramento Music Circus and “Mamma Mia!” at the Tropicana Casino (Las Vegas). Proud Samford University (BFA) and UNLV (MFA) graduate. Huge thanks to this amazing cast! IG: @jbojbo
DARREN RITCHIE (Hans) is so excited to work with this team of rock stars! He’s also thrilled to be back at NYMF after receiving the Outstanding Performance by an Actor Award at their 10th anniversary festival for his work in Standby The Musical. He travels internationally with ”The Tenors Of Rock” and “Broadway Rox” concert series. On Broadway, he originated the role of White Knight/Jack in Wildhorn’s Wonderland, as well the role of Jonathan Harker in Dracula, the musical. Other Broadway Credits: Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Little Shop of Horrors, Bells Are Ringing, Les Misérables (original cast).
JOSH TOLLE (Mickey) is excited for his second NYMF experience! Josh was last seen as Harry in the First National Tour of Kinky Boots. Favorite credits include Gabe in Next to Normal at Drury Lane (Jeff Award Nom.) and Duck Commander at the Rio Las Vegas. Josh is also a singer/songwriter and regular performer in the “Broadway Loves” concert series at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Proud CCM grad. Instagram: @josh.tolle
MATT ROSELL (Mickey Jr. / Ensemble) is making his NYMF debut! His recent credits include Les Misérables on Broadway and National Tour. Other credits include HAIR, Ragtime, South Pacific, West Side Story and Children of Eden. He is so excited to be bringing a new musical to life in NYC. Much love to his family and friends, Michael Einfeld, and CESD.
MILI DIAZ (Ensemble) is ecstatic to make her NYMF debut with such an amazing show! Past favorite credits include In The Heights (Nina), Jesus Christ Superstar (Mary), and American Idiot (Ensemble). Mili would like to thank the cast & crew for this opportunity, Bob, Amy, Nicolosi & Co, and mami y papi. Pace University ‘17. IG:@sillymili
JAMAL CHRISTOPHER DOUGLAS (Ensemble) is thrilled to make his NYMF debut in A Wall Apart. Jamal is a recent college graduate from Pace University’s BFA Musical Theatre program. Regional: Barrington Stage Company (His Girl Friday & A Little More Alive). Educational: American Idiot (St. Jimmy), A Chorus Line (Don), Once On This Island (Gatekeeper). Special thanks to: the Creative team, McCorkle Casting, and The Mine Agency. IG:@iamlamaj
AMANDA DOWNEY (Ensemble) is excited to make her NYMF Debut! Past favorite credits: Regional Premiere of Rock of Ages; Into The Woods (Cinderella); Marvelous Wonderettes (Cindy Lou), Rocky Horror; Crazy For You (Polly); Batboy (Shelley); I Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change (Woman 1); Sister Act; 9 To 5; and Spamalot. Special thanks to Daniel Hoff Agency, Keith, Vince and the rest of the A Wall Apart team. Sean, I love you! Proud member of the USO Show Troupe. Galatians 6:9
LINDSAY ESTELLE DUNN (Ensemble) is thrilled to be a part of this new and telling musical! International Tours: SHREK The Musical (Princess Fiona), Regional Theater: Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie) Grease (Sandy), Wagner College: Spamalot (Lady of the Lake). Awards: Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award for Best Leading Actress.
SEAN GREEN, JR. (Ensemble) is a recent Pace School of Performing Arts grad and is thrilled to be part of the New York Musical Festival! University Credits: Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas), Once On This Island (Agwe), and a workshop of The Visit directed by John Doyle. He also appeared in Aida at The MUNY starring Michelle Williams. Much love to Amy Rogers, AlSilbs, Aimèe Steele, Dr. Peter Thoresen, his beautiful friends and family, and manager, Jeff Berger! @seanzuni
EMILY KRISTEN MORRIS (Ensemble) NYC debut! San Francisco native and recent CCM graduate. Regional: Mamma Mia and Schoolhouse Rock at Weston Playhouse, South Pacific (Nellie), Tartuffe, and Emma at Summer Rep Theatre, Carmelia (Gia) and Sugar at 42nd Street Moon. At CCM: Lysistrata Jones (Lysistrata), and A Chorus Line (Judy). EmilyKristenMorris.com.
*VINCENT ORTEGA (Ensemble / Dance Captain) Broadway/Tours: Mamma Mia. Off-Broadway: René in Babes in Arms. Regional: Joey in Sister Act, Black Stash in Peter and the Starcatcher, Usnavi in In The Heights, Dave in The Full Monty, Lord Farquaad in Shrek, Rocky Horror Show. Film/TV: Movie 43, Enchanted, MTV VMA’s, AMA’s, and Disney Channel. Other credits include The Black Eye Peas (Experience), Michael Jackson, Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kelly and so much more. Follow Vince on all social media @VinceOrtega www.VincentOrtega.com
LORD GRAHAM RUSSELL (MUSIC AND LYRICS) is the songwriter and a founding member of the group Air Supply. Their hit songs and twenty three albums have charted for five decades throughout the world. Billboard magazine recently honored the band in the top 100 most successful groups of all time. While still performing over 130 live shows on five continents with Air Supply every year, Graham is now dedicated to composing for the theatre, where he began his career starring in Jesus Christ Superstar in 1975. This is Graham’s third musical score and first project with Sam and Craig. Graham has been a resident of Utah for 25 years.
SAM GOLDSTEIN, PH.D. (BOOK) has served as Executive Producer, Consultant and Writer for a number of film, documentary and industrial projects including the award winning documentary Tough Times, Resilient Kids, Winslow the Christmas Bear, Why Won’t My Child Pay Attention and It’s Just Attention Disorder. With Craig he has co-written nearly a dozen film scripts including the 2017 winner of the True Story Screenwriting Contest, Passing Through. Sam has authored over 50 books including The Power of Resilience, Raising Resilient Children and Billy and the Rockhounds. A Wall Apart is his first musical collaboration with Craig and Graham.
CRAIG CLYDE (BOOK) has appeared in over sixty major films and national television programs for all the major networks — as well as numerous stage roles as an actor. He was “Cornelius Hackl” in the original national roadshow production of “Hello Dolly” starring Dorothy LaMour. A member of Actor’s Equity and the Screen Actor’s Guild he has written and directed both feature film motion picture and television dramas. His twenty-one feature films include “Miracle Dogs” which starred a then unknown Josh Hutcherson, “The Derby Stallion” which starred the also then-unknown Zach Efron and “The Last Mustang” which starred Miranda Cosgrove of the “I-Carly” cable series. His production of “The Christmas Wish” starring Kristy Swanson was the highest rated program for the Hallmark Channel in 2012. His most recent is “Storm Rider.” “A Wall Apart” marks his debut writing for the stage.
KEITH ANDREWS (DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER) is a NYC-based director and choreographer. He directed the National Tours of The Full Monty and Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah. Keith has directed and choreographed regional theater all around the country including the Regional Premieres of Rock of Ages, The Wedding Singer, Spamalot and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Keith also directed the World Premiere of Cold as Ice, the first book-musical performed entirely on ice. His 2015 production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the New London Barn Playhouse won six New Hampshire Theater Awards, including Best Director, Best Choreographer and Best Musical. Other recent regional productions include The Full Monty, Saturday Night Fever, The Rocky Horror Show, The Drowsy Chaperone, South Pacific, Young Frankenstein, My Fair Lady, Avenue Q, Side Show, Barnum, Sweet Charity, Urinetown, The Pirates of Penzance and many more. Keith’s play directing credits include The Dining Room, Dirty Blonde and The Triangle, a benefit for the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Memorial. Keith also directs musical theater showcases at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.
MARKUS POTTER (ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/DEVELOPED WITH) is a NYC based director, and the producing artistic director of NewYorkRep. Markus recently directed Stalking the Bogeyman off-Broadway at New World Stages (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination, NYtimes critics pick), London’s Southwark Playhouse (Off West End Award nomination for best production and direction), Lost Boy Found In Whole Foods by Tammy Ryan at The Portland Stage Company, Why You Beasting by David Don Miller (Best of FringeNYC – Time Out NY critic’s pick), Weston Playhouse, North Carolina Stage Company, NJ Rep, and the Pasadena Playhouse. As actor: Guthrie Theatre, Long Wharf, Berkeley Rep, American Conservatory Theatre, Denver Center, Tour of Death of a Salesman with Christopher Lloyd. Markus received his MFA from Columbia University and has taught and guest directed at many MFA/BFA programs around the county including the Guthrie, The Denver Center, and Adelphi University. He is currently a mentor to the MFA playwrights at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Next: Ovation nominated Church and State at off-Broadway at New World Stages, opening March 5th, 2017.
GAYLE D. WAXENBERG (EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR) – Gayle’s career began on Wall Street where she managed the marketing and corporate communications for a premiere investment bank. During her 11 years there, she won a multitude of awards for the creative and strategic campaigns she directed. A born advocate, she left the for-profit sector and committed her self to raising awareness for those less fortunate. Combining her extensive business experience and philanthropic work, she began giving “voice” to the different communities she serves. Recognizing the power of the stories she captured, she launched the Telling Company in 2012 as a forum for telling real-life stories influencing social change through art. She has now brought The Telling Company to NewYorkRep becoming a founding member with Markus Potter. Her first play, A Bitter Pill, premiered in 2016 at the Hudson Guild Theater, as part of the Venus/Adonis Theater Festival. Gayle also produced the mulit-award winning film Influence, and the London production of Stalking the Bogeyman, which received an Off-West End (Offie nomination) for best production and direction. Produced readings included Ben Elton’s Olivier award winning play, Popcorn, starring Sharon Stone and Stacey Keach. She is proud to have launched and produced a community based program of readings, Thought Bubbles, to bring new theatrical work free to people who may not otherwise have access.
JONATHAN IVIE (‘JIVIE’) (MUSICAL DIRECTOR/ARRANGER) – Jonathan Ivie comes to “A Wall Apart” having recently music-directed Lord Graham Russell’s musicals “Lost in Love” and “Sweet Dreams”. As a NYC resident since early 2012, he has performed on Broadway (“Rock of Ages” – keyboard/conductor), at the NYMF festival (“Crude: the Musical” – 2016), off-Broadway (“50 Shades: the Musical”; “Ha! the Musical”; “Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812”), and is currently the music director for the national tours of “Rock the Presidents” (Childsplay) & “Odd Squad LIVE!” (Mills Entertainment), as well as the touring music director for LA-based vocal sensations The Company Men. He is the author of “Rob Ford: Rock Star”, a musical comedy about the late mayor of Toronto, and his debut album “Pisces” is currently in the final stages of production. Jivie lives with his wife Katie and Raja the Basset hound in Hell’s Kitchen.
MICHAEL RICO COHEN (GENERAL MANAGER) – Rico has been the General Manager of NewYorkRep/The Telling Company since 2013, and has worked on the Broadway and touring companies of A Bronx Tale, Fully Committed, Amazing Grace, Matilda, Evita, Chaplin, American Idiot, Billy Elliot, and Bonnie & Clyde. Additional credits Signature Theater Company, Roundabout Theatre Company, Williamstown Theater Festival, and Berkshire Theater Festival.
McCorkle Casting, LTD. (Casting Director) Over 55 Broadway productions including On the Town, Amazing Grace. High, The Lieutenant Of Inishmore, The Glass Menagerie, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Stalking The Bogeyman, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, Amadeus, She Loves Me, Blood Brothers, A Few Good Men. Notable Off-Broadway projects include; Clever Little Lies, Falling, Freud’s Last Session, Almost Maine, Ears On A Beatle, Down The Garden Paths, Killer Joe, Mrs. Klein, Driving Miss Daisy. Over 50 feature films and 60 projects for television and new media.
DAVID GOLDSTEIN (Scenic and Lighting Design): Previous NYMF: Deep Love, STUCK, Cloned, The Water Dream, Gary Goldfarb, Deployed, De Gelbe Stern, Ghostlight, Pirates of Finance, Wearing Black and more. Off Broadway: Church and State, That Golden Girls Show, Very Hungry Caterpillar, Soul Doctor, Stalking the Bogeyman, The Portal, I Know what Boys Want, Senior Moment. Los Angeles: Elevator, Around the World in 80 Days, Playground, Rocky Horror, Boomermania, Its Top Secret! Regional: NC Stage, Des Moines Playhouse, WV Public Theatre, Allenberry Playhouse. RLYcore4. www.davidgoldsteindesigns.com
DUSTIN CROSS (Costume Design) is pleased to help bring this extremely relevant story to the stage! Broadway: The 24Hour Plays (American Airlines). Off Broadway: Spamilton (NYC, Chicago/Outer Critics Circle Nom.), The Glass Menagerie, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Other Josh Cohen, Cougar The Musical, Zelda at the Oasis. Tours: Cheers Live, 42nd Street, A Christmas Story. Regional (select): Billy Elliot, Cinderella, Sister Act, The Witches of Eastwick (Regional premieres) Joseph… Dreamcoat (Broadway World Award: Best Costume Design), West Side Story (Irne Award), Rent and The Christmas Rose (Carnegie Hall) Film: The Little Button Girl (December 2017, starring Dick Van Dyke). ENJOY! www.dustincross.net
SHANNON EPSTEIN (Sound Design) is the current technical director and head designer of many off Broadway shows including the MAC award winning show of the year Spamilton. Shannon has been the technical director of the legendary Triad Theatre for the past 6 years and has worked and designed many acclaimed shows including My son the waiter a Jewish tragedy, Celebrity Autobiography and Disaster The Musical. Some of the artist that Shannon has worked with are Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, Zendaya, Danny Aiello, Richard Bellzer, Joy Behar and Susie Essman to name a few. Shannon has most recently joined the video production team of the Public Theatre for their show Party People.
MUSIC FROM ``A WALL APART``
The New York Times
A few minutes into “A Wall Apart,” during the propulsive opening number, I noticed something that hadn’t happened at either of the other shows I saw over the weekend at the New York Musical Festival: My leg was moving in time to the beat. With music and lyrics by Graham Russell of the soft-rock band Air Supply, “A Wall Apart” is a smart, high-energy exercise in idealism, a rock musical with love and politics on its mind.
Time Out New York
“One of the best musicals to see at NYMF in 2017. Go and see.”
“This sounds like one we’ll love. Lord Graham Russell (of the charttopping band Air Supply) scored this original rock musical …Sign us up!”
“Energized, fast paced, contagiously vibrant. …a lovely and attractive production that will leave you rocking on your seat. …Impressive and stylish choreography performed with vitality by the beautiful cast. …Glorious! An amazing example of discovering exciting artists and revealing new styles that will permeate the future of musical productions.”
“Lord Graham Russell of Air Supply creates big rock sound. “Son of the Father” is one of the best rock tunes heard at NYMF. “The City,” is forceful and enduring. “We’re Having a Baby,” sound joyous and melodious. …Well drawn characters are scripted by Sam Goldstein and Craig Clyde. …Great choreography by Keith Andrews. Also the Director, there is something terrific about the staging. …Ingenious Scenic Designer David Goldstein has crafted the set in blocks to assemble and reassemble throughout the play. …it’s effective.”
“A talented 14-member cast, crackling rock and roll music and lyrics by Lord Graham Russell, and an epic story that uses the Berlin Wall as a backdrop….The entire cast belt out their songs with clarity and conviction.”
NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT: “2 Utahns and a rock star team up for musical debuting at prestigious NYC festival”
NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT: “New Rock Musical A WALL APART, from Air Supply’s Graham Russell, to Play NYMF”
TALKIN BROADWAY, 5/11/17
NEWS POSTING: “New musical by Lord Graham Russell of Air Supply… A Wall Apart”
NEWS POSTING: “NYMF 2017 Announces Complete Lineup”
New York Musical Festival
2017 New York Musical Festival Announces Initial Lineup